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Agilent extends boundary-scan to AC realm

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Agilent Technologies and Cisco Systems have successfully demonstrated the IEEE 1149.6 standard for boundary-scan testing of advanced, high-speed networks.

The AC-Extest standard, the development of which was led by both companies, enables reliable testing of integrated circuit boards designed for today’s high-speed networks.

Boundary-scan is a method for testing chips on the printed circuit board by building the chip with additional input and output pins that are only used for test purposes.

High-speed (GHz) technology is placing increasing demands on manufacturing, testing and assembling Internet components. Until recently, these interconnections were DC-coupled, with well-established test techniques. The new high-speed technology has introduced AC-coupled networks, rendering widely adopted testing techniques obsolete.

The AC-Extest standard was developed to enable electronics manufacturers to retain and extend the use of their existing investment in test strategies - satisfying the need for an alternate test approach by extending compatible boundary-scan methodology into the AC realm, according to Agilent’s ASIC products division VP James Stewart.

“The demonstration of AC-Extest on a multi-SerDes ASIC exemplifies Agilent’s leadership in design-for-test capability, board test, and the development of ASICs for high-speed networking applications,” Stewart says.

“Agilent is the only AC-Extest participant that makes both ICs and board test equipment. We are therefore in a unique position to feature our expertise in both these technologies to solve this industry-wide ASIC test problem.”

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